Louise Goldsmith among high-profile speakers to back Chichester’s Kill The Bill protest

Protesters have again taken to to the streets in Chichester today (Saturday, May 29) to oppose the Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Saturday, 29th May 2021, 2:05 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 12:36 pm

Kill the Bill campaigners set off from the district council offices at 10am before marching to MP Gillian Keegan's office and then the Market Cross.

See pictures from the previous Kill the Bill protest in Chichester hereSpeaking before the latest event, Harvey Belcher, a representative for the Kill the Bill coalition in Chichester said: "We are to present a statement and make a demand that our MP is to oppose the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

"The reason we opposed this bill is because it hands over-reaching powers to the police that would radically the freedom of assembly and the freedom of expression. They are fundamental human rights.

Kill the Bill protest in Chichester on May 1

"Chichester itself has relied on assembly. A good example is in 2007, where thousands marched to prevent the closure of life-saving wards at St Richard's Hospital. It's not just the huge national issues.

"It's important to all of us in the area."

The speakers included former West Sussex County Council leader Louise Goldsmith. The community environmental activist is a former councillor, who was a Conservative and then independent before stepping down. Jay Morton, a Labour candidate who stood for election in Chichester in 2019, was also due to make a speech.

Mr Belcher said having 'high profile speakers' was 'good news' for the campaign and proved how much it has grown in recent weeks.

"It's lots of different groups coming together to fight for the same cause," he said. "This isn't a left or right issue, it's human rights.

"We've had lots of interest and that's great. It's important for us that we put sustained and persistent pressure on Gillian Keegan and we won't be going away until she acts on this.

"If this bill goes through, we plan to continue applying pressure.

"Hopefully we will have good weather, unlike last time. That will hopefully make a difference and make it a good day out.

"We've got musicians this time as well."